SPACE 6. Cave of Terror
Ark looked at the people walking ahead of him with uncomfortable eyes. They were Leon, Slayer, Melina and Milan. It was the first time he had joined a part of people since R-14. Once in a party, it was important to consider balance, power, linked actions etc. All this could be checked once entering the dungeon.
It happened not long after they entered. There was a sudden ringing sound in the darkness. It was the skin of a large lizard monster scraping against stone. The lizard called Thanatos was a pitiful monster killed instantly by users for its gallstone. Slayer looked greedy as soon as the Thanatos appeared.
“Thanatos! Leon, attract its attention!”
Tu tu tu tung-!
Blue rays of light exploded from Leon. The Thanatos shrieked as the special rays penetrated his shell and rushed towards the party. But it was obstructed by Slayer’s shield before it could attack the party.
“Your opponent is me! Vibrate, shield! Taunt!”
The surface of the huge shield started vibrating like the surface of a speaker. It was the warrior’s Taunt! The Thanatos attacked Slayer like it was in agony. However most of the attacks were blocked with Slayer’s shield and he counterattacked with his mace. Of course Leon and Melina weren’t just standing there.
Tu tu tu tung-!
The rays from Leon’s rail gun were fired again and again. The rail gun accelerated the bullets using electromagnetic power so it had the best destructive power and penetration power. It also damaged biological or mechanical creatures so it was one of the firearms that users like best. Although the heavy armour and shield had a disadvantage in slowing down movement speed, it was the best for characters known as tanks to withstand attacks.
“Power surge! Power the Berserker’s courage!”
Melina also used buffs to increase the attack of the party!
‘A battlefield and hunting ground is definitely different.’
Ark had quite a bit of experience fighting in a party. He had fought with the Royal Guards on Beltana while in Charem he fought alongside 30 Phoenix members against the Sufferers. But this party had a different feeling. There were always fewer numbers in parties so the competency of the individual meant a lot more. Victory or defeat depended on the individual’s abilities rather than tactics. The more the number was reduced, the more weight was placed on the individual. And the military troops also had support from tanks or armoured vehicles as well as large weapons. However the users in a party were required to buy the supplies themselves. That’s why it was difficult for players to become medics. Medics who handled various drugs and medical supplies were without doubt the strongest healers! But the supplies for a medic weren’t free. Preparing their own medicines was more expensive than just buying the recovery ampoules. They had to spend money on medicines and buffing medicines if they wanted to fight!
It wasn’t something that users’ with poor pockets could afford to pick. If a user was a healer then they usually picked the Esper type that focused on recovery. It had less recovery capabilities but it relied on mana so it was free. Anyway, the basics of a party in Galaxian were a combination of tank-damage dealer- healer. Therefore conjunction moves were important and relied on the individual’s competence. When judging just this aspect, the part scored 8~9 out of 10.
“Body resonance! Regeneration!”
“Melina-nim, thank you! Hahaha, bring it on lizard!”
Melina aimed her healing at Slayer and he pushed back the Thanatos.
“Slayer, expose that guy’s head! Precision Shot!”
Leon aimed his rail gun through a gap. Slayer, Leon and Melina fulfilled the tank-damage dealer-healer combo and the level 100 Thanatos wasn’t a match against them.
…..That was the problem.
‘I shouldn’t be just watching!’
Ark still had muscle pain. The battle was also so one-sided that it didn’t matter if he didn’t enter the fight. It was the first battle in this party so he wanted to join but the muscles in his entire body felt like they were breaking from the pain. He also had his combat related stats decreased by half. And every time he moved it felt like his body was tingling.
“Ah! What are you doing?”
“Just stay in the back!”
Slayer and Leon complained immediately. After the battle was over, Slayer looked at Ark and bluntly asked.
“Are you really level 80?”
“I’m sorry. I tried to tell you before we came in but I have muscle pain right now and all my stats are reduced by 50%.”
-Hey, he said he had muscle pain. Have you heard of it?
–I’ve never heard of something like that. He is clearly making up a reason because he is embarrassed.
A user had never shovelled for 24 hours in the game before. It was natural that they would never hear about muscle pain and then think Ark was lying. But Slayer and Leon didn’t show it in their expressions.
–He really is a lousy bastard. Should he really remain in the party?
–That guy acted shamefully in the village. It isn’t an abrupt thing.
-Then it’s okay.
-Yes, since we’re looking for ugly guys.
–That’s right. It is a rare opportunity. Don’t pay attention to the loot and just hunt.
Ark sensed that Leon and Slayer were whispering to each other. Of course he couldn’t imagine the contents of their words.
–Is it impossible? If I enter the battle despite having muscle pain……’
Ark thought they were discussing about how to treat him and sighed before speaking.
“This muscle pain will last for another 40 minutes. I thought it would take more time to find a party after putting up the ad…..I had no intention of deliberately hiding this but if you’re annoyed then I will leave the party.”
“Ah, no it’s fine!”
Slayer and Leon shook their heads.
“Don’t misunderstand. We spoke without thinking after the battle. We have no complaints. Isn’t that right Leon?”
“Of course. We value our bonds above anything else. Once you join then we should finish it to the end! That’s our motto. We accepted Ark-nim into the party so we’ll shoulder the responsibility until the end. If we don’t do this then we won’t be able to sleep. We’ll be responsible!”
Leon said with looking at Melina.
“It isn’t necessary for you to worry. You don’t need to join in on the fights. Just stay behind and give support fire while protecting Melina.”
“Yes, because Melina-nim is invaluable.”
This time Slayer was the one who spoke while looking at Melina.
‘Ah! Some users are really considerate!’
Ark wasn’t naive. Ark noticed the atmosphere after hearing Leon and Slayer’s words. These guys were playing the game. Then a woman entered the party and they were pretending to be good. When considering those guys’ purpose, he really thought it was pitiful…..
‘It’s fine if I can support from behind.’
In fact, that had been the part he was most worried about. Unlike other users, Ark’s purpose was to find the Murat ruins. But if Ark and Milan participated in the battle then there would be no time to search. Furthermore, this was a dungeon so there were plenty of parties hunting. Therefore it would inevitably take a longer time to look around. However he couldn’t confess about the ruins.
‘I have to get Milan out of combat!’
This was the reason Ark was happy to give up Milan’s share of the loot. He was going to use a suitable excuse to leave Milan in the back so that he could search for the ruins. Now both of them were remaining in the rear so it was good. Judging by the atmosphere of the party, he didn’t need to worry about the loot even if he didn’t participate in the battle. There were no conditions better for Ark.
“Thank you. In fact I’ve been worrying about being weak compared to my level but I’m touched by your compassion. It is shameless but please allow me to continue in the party. What about Melina-nim?”
“It also isn’t good if people keep on changing.”
Melina replied cutely. This was the answer that Slayer and Leon wanted to receive. Not surprisingly, the two men were happy to grab Ark’s hands after hearing Melina’s words.
“I agree! We will continue with these 5 people until the end!”
“Don’t worry about it! We will push you on!”
Thus Ark’s dungeon exploration begun. Slayer and Leon took care of the Thanatos every time it appeared. Ark and Milan just had to appear like they were shooting while looking around. And they still received experience and loot when the battle ended.
‘I have the perfect party right now…..’
There were only two parts that he was dissatisfied about.
“You bastard! You’re stronger than you look. But I’m the shield for my colleagues! I won’t allow you to take one step even if my entire body is shredded! Bring it on! Ack!”
“Ah! Slayer! Ack! You bastard, he is my friend! Wrathful Bullets!”
“Hut! T-these lights are….ohh! Every cell in my body is alive! Thank you Melina-nim! I will use this opportunity! I will be Melina-nim’s shield!”
“I will be Melina-nim’s bullets! Take this! Continuous Bullets!”
This was the first thing. The over compensatory actions and words every time they competed in a battle! He didn’t know if Melina was slow or pretending not to know but Ark could clearly see the two men’s hearts. But it was thanks to this that Ark could do nothing so he endured it. The second problem was Milan.
“Phew, he is quite useful.”
“I didn’t expect much from the support shooting but there were a lot of critical hits.”
Slayer and Leon were talking about Milan. It was unnecessary to say but Ark’s power showed its strength in close combat. But it wasn’t possible to use the shotgun meant for close distances as rear support. Therefore Ark was forced to use the level 20 pistol Fading Steel. The attack power was trivial. Ark’s marksmanship skills were also bad.
Tang-! Tang-! Tang-!
Ark’s shots kept on missing. However Milan was using a machine gun. Furthermore, he was a treasure hunter that used long distance attacks so the NPC was better at rear support than Ark. Ark only dealt 2~3 percent damage while Milan dealt 10%! The problem wasn’t with Ark.
“Who on earth……”
It was the words he heard. The problem was Milan’s attitude.
“Hey, that won’t do at all. Although he is still my Hyung-nim.”
‘What? What did he say just then? That bastard!’
Milan’s eyes had been shining with respect for Ark when they arrived at Mt. Fargo. Then he met Valencia and was humiliated by Milan and the atmosphere slowly changed while they were digging at Mt. Fargo. And to receive more praise than Ark……
“Hyung-nim, please don’t pay any attention to it. Aren’t you my Hyung-nim? Hat hat hat!”
He started speaking informally to Ark. It was an inevitable result. The relationship between the NPC and user depending on their intimacy. And the NPC’s appreciation often changed depending on the evaluation of the surrounding users. The Royal Guards’ loyalty went up when Ark became Beltana’s hero while Milan’s decreased due to Leon and Slayer ignoring him. Ark once again realized an important fact.
‘I shouldn’t be blindly nice to the NPCs. Sometimes they will forget who their master is. Damn, you’ll see soon. I’ll show you once the ruins are found!’
But the main thing right now was finding the Murat ruins. Ark pushed his anger down and endured it. So the users and NPC continued to treat him badly while he continued the exploration. Ark then faced a difficulty he hadn’t considered.
‘Eh? This place is…..?’
Ark looked around puzzled before going up to Melina.
“Melina-nim, perhaps this place…..didn’t we pass this place a short time ago?”
“Huh? You didn’t know so far?”
“We’ve been going around the same place for a while now. There are 9 entrances in Mt. Fargo but they’re all connected. Only the layers are different. There are 3 layers. We’re only going around the top. The passages here aren’t wide and are connected in a circle.”
“Do we have to go to the other caves to go to the lower floors of the dungeon?”
“That isn’t the case. Alan-nim, do you see that hole in the ground? That hole is connected to a lower floor of the dungeon. You can just jump down that hole.”
“Then why are we still going around the same place?”
“Huh? Oh, that…..”
Melina studied Ark’s face and hesitated. Then Slayer who had just taken care of a Thanatos returned.
“In fact, we thought about descending after forming a new party and practicing our connected attacks. The Thanatos underneath are level 150 but there are more gallstones and less competitors. If one more level 80 person was added to Melina-nim, Leon and me then we could try it.”
However the user had entered with a NPC. It meant they could only hunt the safe level 100 monsters.
‘Damn, I didn’t think that far!’
Ark had been digging at Mt. Fargo so he knew everything was connected. Therefore he thought he could search through the entire dungeon. He didn’t’ know that the dungeon was divided into 3 layers.
‘We’ve returned to a place that we passed just a while ago. Then it will be meaningless if I spend a few more days here. In the end I’ll have to go downstairs……’
It was essential for Ark to descend. In fact, Ark’s muscle pain had already gone away for a while now. He was the level 80 user that Slayer and Leon were hoping for. No, he had confidence that he could win again Slayer or Leon in a 1 on 1 battle. However, Ark had already explored the ruins for 3 hours and packed a lot of free loot. How could he just say ‘I’m strong again! Let’s go down!’ to them all of a sudden? He would clearly incur some bad feelings. Ark’s thoughts starting turning over at a rapid speed in his head. He then raised his head and looked at Melina.
‘Melina is actually the one in charge of this party! Then……’
“I have to go to the bathroom for a while. Anyway, I’m not a big help so you guys can go first.”
“Yes, we’ll be near here.”
Ark re-joined the party shortly afterwards. Slayer and Leon were in the midst of fighting a Thanatos.
Bark bark bark! Bark bark bark!
Suddenly there was the sound of a dog in the dungeon. The party reflexively turned as they heard a sound they never imagined. Surprisingly a dog with the head of a Thanatos was rushing towards them!
“What, what the? There was also a monster like this here?”
“Damn, something like this…..no! Melina-nim, it’s dangerous!”
Leon shouted as he hurriedly lifted his rail gun. The monster had ignored Slayer and Leon and was rushing towards Melina. Just as it was about to bite the neck of the confused Melina! A man shot towards her like lightning……
Ark grabbed Melina’s body and rolled across the ground. And…..
“Ugh! So envious….ah, no! Well done Alan-nim! Nice! Now…..eh? W-wait a minute! There is……”
They fell into the hole that led to the intermediate layer.
Bark bark bark! Bark bark bark!
The monster dog also plunged into the hole after them.
They fell for a long time through the hole. Then Melina screamed from the shock of the impact.
……He didn’t know why she screamed. Ark was the one that had hit the ground. But Melina didn’t understand his thoughts and looked up at the hole before bursting out in confusion.
“It’s a big deal! We fell into the intermediate layer!”
“And Melina-nim is lying on me.”
“Ah! I’m sorry!”
Melina hurriedly got up. Then she looked around and stuttered.
“A-Alan-nim, t-there…..a-a monster dog…..”
“Retreat! I’ll stop this guy!”
Ark stood in front of Melina holding his sword. The red eyes from the approaching monster was in front of him. The bizarre creature had the body of a dog and the head of a Thanatos. Thankfully Melina was too busy being scared that she didn’t realize something. The tail was shaking intensely!
‘Huhuhu, you cutie!’
A smile formed on Ark’s mouth. It was natural. Ark was the owner of the monster dog. While the part was busy, Ark had summoned a hell hound with the body of a Thanatos. This was the method Ark came up with to force the party down into the intermediate level.
‘Slayer and Leon will do anything to impress Melina. If Melina was forced into the intermediate layer then of course……’
“Melina-nim, just wait! We’re coming!”
‘…….The two of them are entering.’
Ark grinned as he looked at the hell hound.
‘That’s it! Stop now. You know what to do next?’
Ark conveyed through his eyes and the hell hound nodded before running away. Slayer, Leon and Milan fell from the top layer shortly afterwards.
“Melina-nim, are you hurt? Where is it?”
“It’s okay. The monster dog ran away. And Alan-nim protected me from the fall…..”
Melina blushed and replied. Slayer then sighed and looked up at the hole in the ceiling.
“But this is serious. We suddenly came down to the intermediate layer. Of all things…..”
Slayer looked at Ark with dissatisfied eyes. His expression seemed to indicate that he held Ark responsible.
“I’m sorry. I should’ve paid more attention……”
“No! It’s not Alan’s fault. He was just rescuing me. It is my fault!”
Slayer instantly shook his head forcefully at Melina’s words.
“It was a surprise and you didn’t do anything wrong! We’ll do as promised. We will go on together. Let’s not worry about the future.”
“That’s right! Alan-nim and Melina-nim, you don’t have to worry!”
“Please don’t worry. We promised to take responsibility no matter what. It’s fine if we die as long as Melina-nim and Alan-nim can get out safely!”
“Yes, just believe in us!”
Ark inwardly laughed as he looked at the two of them. If Ark had fallen downstairs by himself then they probably would’ve made up an excuse to get rid of him. It would be different if Melina fell. But he couldn’t just push Melina into the hole. That’s why he used the hell hound to fix the situation. This was the result. The remaining members descended a layer like Ark intended. And there was one more problem to solve.
‘It should be back around now……’
Bark bark bark! Bark bark bark!
Then the sound of a dog was once again heard from the opposite side. Slayer and Leon reflexively turned and their faces stiffened. It wasn’t because the monster dog was running towards the group. The problem was the huge shadow coming behind it! It was a Thanatos two times larger than the one upstairs.
“T-that damn dog pulled a Thanatos?”
“Oh my god! Level 150! It isn’t someone we can take care of with our current power!”
“But this is a dead end. There is nowhere to run away!”
“Ugh, damn! Leon, take care of that dog!”
Leon’s rail gun subsequently shot out rays of light. The hell hound was created with a level 100 Thanatos so its stats were relatively high. However, it had been chased by a Thanatos so it only took a few shots from the rail gun to melt away. Now the only problem was the Thanatos! After the hell hound died, the Thanatos immediately headed towards the group.
“Should we take out our battle suits?”
“No. We’ve fallen into the intermediate level so we’ll encounter many of these guys no matter how careful we are. It will be hopeless if we can’t even take care of one. So we should use the battle suit sparingly. Let’s just take care of this one! Melina-nim, Milan, cover us!”
Slayer shouted as he took out a shield. They never mentioned Ark’s name even in this situation. It was because he didn’t use his power from the beginning. It was natural when considering what happened up to now……
‘I’m different now!’
Slayer used his shield to block the Thanatos’ sharp claws. It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that a level 100 and a level 150 monster were completely different. It was two times larger and had twice as much power. The shield that stopped hundreds of attacks in the upper layer was pushed back.
“Slayer! Dammit, Continuous Shooting!”
Rays poured out from Leon’s rail gun. Fortunately Slayer avoided being damaged by the Thanatos but the situation had changed. Close combat was possible because of Slayer. So far he had executed the tank role but he couldn’t receive the attacks of the level 150 Thanatos by himself. Melina poured her recovery skills like a waterfall but it wasn’t possible to catch up to the speed that his health fell. In the end Slayer’s health fell to 30%. Slayer murmured feebly.
“I made a mistake.”
Ark flew towards the Thanatos. He stood in front of the wobbly Slayer and blocked the attack.
His bones shook from the tremendous impact.
Slayer looked at Ark with a puzzled expression. Ark stumbled back and said with a smile.
“Ugh, I’m fine. Slayer-nim, this isn’t the time to give up. I’m also here so let’s fight together. This is a chance to show your true worth to Melina. A man won’t give up!”
“Ah! T-that’s right! I see!”
Slayer became fired up and raised his shield. Slayer was actually thinking differently. He only pretended to become fired up so he could show a nice, final impression to Melina. But the situation was different once the battle began again. The attacks of the Thanatos became weaker. Even if the attack had the same power as before, there were more chances to counterattack. Slayer’s health that was on 30% no longer fell. Melina’s recovery skills hadn’t become stronger so it meant the damage received was reduced. And…..
“Slayer-nim, Leon-nim, now!”
“Ohhhh! Acceleration Iron!”
“Super magnetic shot!”
There were loud cries as the mace and rail gun bullets hit. The Thanatos’ health reached the bottom and it collapsed.
“Kyaak! We did it! Awesome!”
Melina jumped and cheered. But Slayer and Leon looked sombre.
“Alan-nim, for a while…..”
Melina studied Slayer’s face and approached.
They were able to win this battle thanks to Ark. That didn’t mean that Ark took care of it alone. What Ark did was interrupt the Thanatos’ attack rhythm. He focused his attacks on the joints of the leg. It was an advanced technique so Melina and Milan hadn’t noticed. However Slayer and Leon had combat experience so they noticed it straight away. And they felt a surge of betrayal!
“Have you been tricking us?”
“I said it at the beginning. It will be hard for me to fight properly for a while because of muscle pain.”
“I’ve never heard of that state before!”
“Even if it was true, shouldn’t it be released long before now? Why didn’t you help us until now?”
“Yes, I recovered 40 minutes after we entered.”
“40 minutes…..then you tricked us to receive 3 hours’ worth of experience and loot for free……”
Slayer’s eyes trembled. Ark sighed and said.
“I admit it. I deliberately tricked you. But it was for the two of you.”
“What? You say that now……”
“The two of you, don’t you have something in mind with Melina-nim?”
Slayer and Leon closed their mouths at his words.
“I knew it. It was the reason why I stayed in the background. It was in order to give you two a chance to appeal to Melina-nim. Doesn’t it seem cooler if 2 people deal with all the monsters? So far the two of you have been enough. This time is also the same thing. I didn’t use my skills and strength in order to make it look like the two of you defeated the Thanatos. So I deliberately only helped when Slayer-nim was in danger.”
It fact that wasn’t the only reason. One of the conditions of his occupation quest was to rescue his colleagues! Ark knew that it was possible to win against the Thanatos if he fought. He needed to increase the number of times he saved a colleague. And he had to make sure Melina didn’t sense it. So it was possible to convince Slayer and Leon with those words.
“Amway, I was very impressed that the two of you helped me for 3 hours without a word of complaint. So I made up my mind. I will do my best to make sure you two have a good impression with Melina. We fell into the intermediate layer so I have no choice but to enter the battle. But I’ll only do it if the situation deteriorates and the two of you need help.”
“Well we were originally planning to enter the intermediate layer……”
Slayer and Leon looked at each other.
“This might be a chance. The two of you came down to this layer to save Melina-nim. Therefore Melina-nim is feeling guilty inside. If you show the two of you struggling against the Thanatos then she will receive a better impression of you.”
These words ended the indecision.
“Certainly…..okay! Like Alan-nim said, this is an opportunity given by the heavens!”
“Yes, if we have Alan-nim then the intermediate layer won’t be a problem!”
In fact, Slayer and Leon had no other choice. It would be hard for them to escape the intermediate layer if they kicked Ark out of the party now. And Ark also used compelling words to convince them. This was to relieve any bad feelings if he ever met those users again!
“Thank you in advance!”
Slayer and Leon firmly grabbed Ark’s hand. However they were unaware that this was the beginning of a nightmare. In far, Ark had calculated it carefully before making his suggestion. Since then Ark only helped Leon and Slayer when they were barely surviving. Thus they were in danger many times……
“Alan-nim, it is dangerous! It is up to the guardian to protect his colleagues! Ugh!”
Slayer poured out his heart into protecting them. If they protected their colleagues then of course Melina would be impressed! Every time there was a battle, their health and mana would reach the bottom. That was also Ark’s desire. Ark’s purpose was to find the ruins. He hadn’t discovered in the upper layer so Ark had descended to the intermediate layer. There was no time to investigate the area thoroughly.
‘But it is different when they run out of health and mana.’
It meant they needed to take a break after the fight. While their health and mana were recovering, it gave Ark time to look around. Therefore Ark intentionally made sure that his health and mana fell to the bottom in every battle. He took care of any dissatisfaction by saying.
“I’m sorry. I’m so clumsy in battle……”
“It’s nothing. This happened because of me. Thank you for trying hard.”
Melina felt guilty so she was okay with everything.
“Did you hear? Melina-nim apologized to us. It is important to give an impression of a hard fight. Our favourable image is rising.”
“Huhuhuhu. Thank you. Settling it this way…..”
Melina had surrounded herself with 2 wolves. They would smile happily every time their bodies became tattered in the battle. Ark controlled the party from the back and could search the intermediate layer. However, it had been 2 hours since entering the intermediate layer. It was a total of 5 hours if he added the hours spent in the upper layer so Slayer was getting tired. No, he was trying to make a good impression on Melina.
“Let’s end it here and look for the exit. Now we know we can hunt in the intermediate layer so the group will gather to continue tomorrow.”
And just as they found the exit.
Bark bark bark! Bark bark bark!
A monster dog once again came running. There were 10 Thanatos chasing behind it!
“Heok! D-dammit! Another one of those dogs! No! If we get caught then we’re dead! Run!”
Slayer screamed and ran away from the exit. This situation repeated a few times. The monster dog seemed to sense whenever they would find an exit and would use the Thanatos following it to herd them deeper into the dungeon.
“A curse! This hunt is cursed!”
Slayer and Leon grabbed their heads and screamed. However they failed to notice something. The monster dog always appeared after Ark went to the toilet.
‘Huhuhu. You won’t get any chances to exit.’
Ark laughed as he looked at the gasping Slayer and Leon. The hell hound merciless drove the Thanatos towards them. Ark used the hell hound to herd them towards places he hadn’t searched yet. This was all to achieve Ark’s goal! In New World, he once stayed all up night for two days in order to find an item he desired. Ark valued this before getting a good sleep.
‘This is a spacious dungeon so it would take quite a while to investigate. I’m sorry but I’m still not finished. They should at least stay until I finish searching the intermediate level.’
Slayer was the one suffering. But this was a game so he wasn’t concerned about his condition.
“Pant pant pant, that monster. Why is it doing this to us?”
The frustrated Slayer wheezed with a spiritless face. But he still had some spirit left. The upper layer only required 2~3 hours but the intermediate layer was several times larger. And there weren’t a lot of parties here so it was overflowing with Thanatos. Thus they were like zombies by the time 15 hours had passed. Meanwhile Ark and Milan had rested before entering so they weren’t as tired!
“I-it isn’t possible anymore.”
“No! There are no tents. If we go to sleep then we’ll die!”
Slayer flopped down on the ground and Leon grabbed his collar while yelling. The tent was an item where users could safely enter hibernation mode while in dungeons. However, the village was right near here so Slayer and Leon hadn’t bothered preparing tents.
“I, I……I really can’t hold out anymore. My eyes feel like it will fall out. I’d rather die.”
Slayer and Leon had been playing the game for more than 15 hours before meeting Ark. They only played an average of 12 hours a day but they held out because of Melina. Yet another 15 hours had passed. It was a total of 30 hours! They couldn’t concentrate on the battle anymore. But Ark didn’t allow them to abandon it halfway through.
“Gather your spirits! If you fall down here then we’ll be in trouble! Slayer-nim, Leon-nim, shouldn’t a man protect Melina-nim until the end? Do you want to leave Melina-nim by herself in a monster infested dungeon? The more difficult and painful it is, the more you two will shine in her eyes! That is a man!”
“Ohhh…..I’m a man……”
Slayer and Leon moved their zombie like bodies at Ark’s encouragement. But Melina’s eyes were looking at Ark.
‘At first he didn’t fight properly so I thought he was brazen to enter the party….. It was inconvenient……but he didn’t show any dissatisfaction with the situation and even encouraged his colleagues……he also isn’t patronizing like Slayer-nim and Leon-nim…..yes, I gain energy every time I see Alan-nim.’
Rather than Slayer and Leon who fought to attract her attention, Melina was more impressed by Ark who encouraged his colleagues. But another pair of eyes were looking at Ark differently.
‘I know it! That monster that pulled the Thanatos! That’s right, it is similar to the dogs that Hyung-nim produced on the way here! The person controlling the dog is clearly Hyung-nim. Hyung-nim is keeping the party here to look for the ruins. When I think about it, I also couldn’t rest for one day while searching on Mt. Fargo. Then we can only leave this dungeon after searching through this entire layer?’
Milan knew. The horror that the level 80 Slayer and Leon couldn’t imagine! The level 150 Thanatos hadn’t appeared because of the hell hound. This was all Ark controlling it from the rear!
“Scary! Hyung-nim is a scary man!’
“Damn, I’m in trouble. It is difficult!”
A man with slicked back hair muttered impatiently. His name was Bain. He had joined the large company Laius when he was young and is success meant he was now the director of one of the major projects. The place he recently became interested in was Mt. Fargo. Compared to other areas, there were a large number of monsters that had gallstones.
‘According to the latest theory, the gallstones are formed from high density energy accumulating in the body of the monster. In order words, it means there is a source of high density energy nearby. If it is a lot higher than other areas……lode! A lode of energy might be hidden!’
Development and maintenance of a civilization required energy. After the humans entered the universe, it lead to a revival of different energy sources. It was the same for the Rama and Aschulat. Thus the galaxy was now struggling from a chronic lack of energy. That’s why there was a war as soon as resources were found in the Bellin constellation.
‘In other words, it will become money. Now swords and guns are part of the primitive age. The important thing is energy. The person who controlled the energy would dominate the universe. If I can find the energy lode at Mt. Fargo then I can be promoted!’
Bain managed to convince the company to build a research centre here. However, they had explored for a fortnight and still hadn’t found the energy lode.
No, it was becoming increasingly possible that the energy lode didn’t exist.
“This is serious. I’m the one who established the research centre here and drove the project. If an energy lode doesn’t exist here then I’ll be held responsible. In the worst case situation I might be stripped of my position! N-no! I’m still young! I can’t be unemployed at such a young age! If I can’t find the lode then I should at least find something else!”
Bain held his head and frantically worried.
A guard came running in and shouted.
“This is an urgent report! A high density energy reaction was detected on the radar searching the area!”
“High density energy reaction? A lode? Yes? Is it a lode?”
“No, that is……”
Kwa kwang, kwa kwang, kwa kwang, kwa kwang!
The ground shook like an earthquake was occurring.